Using Exclusivity In Marketing

[adsense float=’left’]The clothing company, Abercrombie and Fitch has been caught with their pants down (do you like the pun?). They got found out by customers that they are trying to exclude certain types of people from wearing their clothing products. Apparently, they don’t want the fatties or the uglies wearing their clothes.

Mike Jeffries, the CEO of the company, as reported at the Independent, has said that he only wants thin and beautiful people to wear the brand.

Jeffries said. “Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.” He went on: “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

Who are the cool kids?

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, the cool kids have a specific personality type. We call them the Warriors, because it fits their temperament. It isn’t that they are necessarily aggressive (although the prison system is dominated by inmates with this personality temperament). But they act like fighters getting ready and preparing for the actual battle.

One thing that Warriors value is weapons or tools. Clothing fits into this category, because they are tools that can be used to get a job done. The job might be to impress someone else, and that is what fashion clothing is designed to do. Fashion clothing also could be a uniform of a particular clan of warriors. In this case, I think that is what Abercrombie and Fitch is trying to accomplish. They want the clan to be successful and beautiful people.

Hand-in-hand with the value of tools, is the desire to have them exclusively. If your enemy has the same weapon that you do, then you have no advantage in the battle. You are on equal footing, and that reduces your odds of winning. You MUST have a weapons advantage over your adversary. It is the biggest advantage you can have in a fight, and Warriors know this.

That is what Abercrombie and Fitch is selling to its core customers. You know… “Clothing is clothing.” But exclusivity is the real product.

Exclusivity vs. Elitism

What seems to have set people off though, is that they feel they have crossed the line from being exclusive to an attitude of elitism.

I would say that elitism is showing favoritism within the group that should all be on the same team. It would be like saying to your fighting buddies that they aren’t good enough to hold and touch the sacred weapon. These are the guys that feel that they are watching your back, and now they aren’t good enough to touch the weapon? Where is the respect? Of course they are going to be miffed.

[adsense float=’left’]This is a warrior vs warrior hissy fit. I’m only interested in seeing how it will all play out. I suspect that the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch will apologize and they’ll begin making plus-size versions of their clothing. But on the other hand, if they stick to their policy of exclusivity as the product, what they are getting now is a lot of free publicity. It is going to make the exclusivity even more valuable.

What do you think they will do. Vote now by writing your comment below.

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